Monday, September 06, 2004

Life in hell: Canada's National Post profiles painter / illustrator / cartoonist Gary Panter, whose work moves from Pee-Wee's Playhouse to Jimbo in Purgatory:

"Panter loves fusing together disparate things. 'Cubism and robots?' he seems to think. 'Why not?' He has a synthetic mind, and so did Dante, which perhaps explains why the cartoonist was drawn to the medieval poet. Living in the High Middle Ages, from 1265 to 1321, Dante threw nearly everything he knew into his masterpiece, The Divine Comedy. Describing in three nearly equal parts the journey the poet takes through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, The Divine Comedy is an amazingly multi-layered work. ...

"... Rather than doing a straight adaptation of Dante, Panter has, in effect, added new layers to the classic by populating it with a pop-culture menagerie. Set in a high-tech Purgatory, Panter replaces Dante with an everyman character named Jimbo (a good-natured goof with spiky hair and a loin cloth) and gives the minor roles to various pop stars, toys, robots and iconic images."

(Thanks to Nathalie Atkinson for sending the link.)